Youthful leader

Published 10:54 pm Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tierra Hall never saw him play, but that does not prevent her from calling Michael Jordan her role model.

Hall, the Pike County Lady Bulldogs’ freshman point guard, does not skip a beat telling why Jordan is her favorite basketball player.

“Michael Jordan is my hero,” Hall said. “I was very young (when the Bulls were winning their championships), but I read the history about him and he led his team to many championships and he was just a great athlete.”

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Hall wants to one day be as successful as Jordan. PCHS head coach Kasey Parker said Hall has got a good start and she has no plans of cutting the freshman, like Jordan was cut in his sophomore year of high school.

“She is the best ball handler we have and she has really stepped it up as a ninth grader,” Parker said. “She is silent, but she is the one that if we are in a tight game I want the ball in her hands. Or if we need to be taking free throws, I want her at the line.”

Parker said Hall is very knowledgeable about the game of basketball and she is a smart player. She added that the team’s freshman point guard listens to coaching well and she is easy to coach.

Hall said the coaching she has received this year has been terrific. She said scrimmaging against the boys’ team has also helped her.

“It is fun to play with the boys because they play hard on us and that is teaching us to be a better team,” Hall said.

Parker said when the girls hit the court they all know who the leader of the squad is even though she is only a ninth grader.

“All of the kids like (Tierra) and she is a very likable person,” Parker said. “And if she says something they will listen to her because they know she knows the game of basketball. She just has that leadership quality among her peers.”

Parker does not see Hall’s youth as a bad thing, rather a good look into the future.

“I can only imagine how good she will be in the future,” she said. “There is a saying in the Bible that goes ‘A child shall lead them’ and that is exactly what T does out there. We have 11th and 12th graders, but our freshman point guard has really taken the reins and run with it this year. Everyone on the team knows what she does is good on and off the court.”

Off the court, Parker said Hall is just as special, if not more.

“She gets really good grades and she wants to keep doing well in the classroom,” Parker said. “She has told me she wants to go to college and succeed in life. As her coach, that just makes me smile.”

Hall has had a lot of success this year, but she is only worried about making sure the team does well.

“I try to get my team involved in whatever I do,” Hall said. “It can be tough sometimes, but it is fun.”

Hall has been playing basketball since she was 7 years old and she learned the ropes of the game from her cousin, Wennica Foster.

“My cousin taught me how to play and playing with boys also helped me get better,” she said. “She was always tough on me and she would steal the ball from me even though I was little.”

Like most teenagers, Hall likes to watch TV and talk on the phone, but she can also be found practicing on the hoop she has at her house. She does not stop playing or watching basketball when she leaves school grounds.

“I like to watch Nick-at-Nite, BET, but I am mostly watching basketball,” Hall said. “Or I am outside shooting free throws.”

Hall is the type of player who never stops learning about the game of basketball and Parker said she is glad she will be able to coach Hall for the next three years after this season.